Review: One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

Book Title: One Man Guy
Author: Michael Barakiva
Publish Date: May 27th, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Genre: LGBT YA
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A heartfelt, laugh-out-loud-funny story of romance, family, and self-discovery.

Alek Khederian should have guessed something was wrong when his parents took him to a restaurant. Everyone knows that Armenians never eat out. Between bouts of interrogating the waitress and criticizing the menu, Alek’s parents announce that he’ll be attending summer school in order to bring up his grades. Alek is sure this experience will be the perfect hellish end to his hellish freshman year of high school. He never could’ve predicted that he’d meet someone like Ethan.

Ethan is everything Alek wishes he were: confident, free-spirited, and irreverent. He can’t believe a guy this cool wants to be his friend. And before long, it seems like Ethan wants to be more than friends. Alek has never thought about having a boyfriend—he’s barely ever had a girlfriend—but maybe it’s time to think again.

Disclaimer: This is a library book.

This book was PERFECT!

I am so, SO glad Blythe & Lili pushed this one on me. I tend to have very similar tastes in books with these two ladies so I had a feeling I’d love this book. And I was right. I loved the insight into the Armenian culture as I didn’t know anything about it. It sounds depressing and sad, but the only knowledge of the Armenian culture was through the Kardashians. 

However, I loved learning about the family and food aspect of the culture. I was drooling over the foods Alek and his family made throughout the book, which is funny, because I don’t generally go for the types of foods depicted in the book. Yes, Alek’s parents were strict, but I got the feeling that was par for the course in Armenian families. I thought the whole thing about his parents packing his lunch & laying out his clothes to wear was a little much. I mean he IS fourteen. But again, that was part of the culture.

It is Ethan who teaches him the difference between “have to” and “want to” Ethan encourages him to break the rules and do something that he wants to do instead of what his parents say he has to. Ethan is the one who helps Alek realize he’s gay. It was nothing Alek had ever considered before. He had had girlfriends before, but it had been awhile.

It was Alek’s best friend Becky, who encouraged him to go after Ethan, to tell Ethan how he felt. I loved that Alek had a female best friend. I really think opposite sex friendships are very underrepresented in YA, so I was excited to see Becky & Alek’s friendship continue throughout the book. I really loved that Becky didn’t abandon Alek when it was revealed that Alek was falling for Ethan. So many teenagers lose friends when they come out, thankfully Alek did not.

Their first kiss was so adorable, sweet and just so PERFECT. I totally thought that Ethan would kiss him first, but I actually liked that Alek initiated the first kiss. I felt that it actually made so much more sense than it would have if Ethan had initiated the kiss. 

This book was about family, friendship, and realizing who you really are. I cannot say enough amazing things about this book. It was funny, cute, romantic. It really was an absolutely perfect book and I’m so excited and happy that I read it. 5 stars to this book that stole my heart.